Third sector of society, distinct from government and business / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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[Civil society]can be understood as a broad term denoting the wide range of organizations operating outside the governmental and business sectors. [Rieff- The False Dawn of Society].They are organizations outside of the governmental structure. By other authors, civil society is described as encompassing all aspects of life, even the bad ones. It is not warm and fuzzy. Should expect to snuggle with the Russian Mafia and the parent teacher association. [ Carothers- Civil Society: Think Again]. There are sides for both arguments, on the exact effects of civil societies on democracies and governments in general. According to Putnam, Civil societies are crucial to making democracies work.[Making democracy work: Civic traditions in modern Italy]. However that view is combated by Berman- who uses the case study of Nazi Germany to show how it worked adversely. Nonetheless, these civil societies are used to promote and generate political participation. They have set agendas and are goal oriented.
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Sometimes the term civil society is used in the more general sense of "the elements such as freedom of speech, an independent judiciary, etc, that make up a democratic society" (Collins English Dictionary). Especially in the discussions among thinkers of Eastern and Central Europe, civil society is seen also as a normative concept of civic values.